A parasol is another name that is frequently synonymous with umbrella. Parasols, however, frequently are more elaborate variations of umbrellas and are often utilized more for relief from sunlight than from rain, unlike umbrellas.
A lace parasol, in particular, is of no use in the rain. This type of parasol features the structure of a conventional parasol or even umbrella but is covered by a strip of stretched lave cloth that is typically decorated with patterns.
These parasols are generally associated with early American colonialism as many women of stature would utilize them to shield themselves from the hot sun of the South and the West. However, they have their roots back in Great Britain.
Most nobles used parasols made of different coverings, in early colonial Britain, but a lace parasol exhibited a lady’s stature and fine taste more than any other available at the time. Like many accessories, it quickly became more of a status symbol, as the more exquisitely detailed and ornate the lace was crafted, the supposedly daintier and purer was the lady who carried it.
Lace is rarely put to functional or even aesthetic use in modern times, other than on stage, of course. Even so, some like to have them for decoration, particularly those interested in antiques.